I want to offer up a recommendation to one of my favorite books on creativity of all times:
Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles & Ted Orlando.
I read this book many years ago and it was helpful when I hit a few creative rough patches. I thought I would give it a read again and see if it could shed some light on many of the creative concerns I hear mentioned by my friends on Instagram. Ideas like motivation, inspiration, talent and approval to name just a few of the common themes I hear mentioned in one way or another.
After the first page, after just the first paragraph, I wanted to scream out: THIS IS IT! I don’t know how I can express to you how good it feels to read this book. It is like having your favorite, trusted art teacher tell you all your fears and doubts are ok, that we all have them. It is normal.
Since I know you are not convinced, here are a few quotes from the first pages to tantalize you:
Artmaking involves skills that can be learned. The conventional wisdom here is that while ‘craft’ can be taught, ‘art’ remains a magical gift bestowed only by the gods. Not so.Art and Fear, page 3.
Even talent is rarely indistinguishable, over the long run, from perseverance and lots of hard work.Art and Fear, page 3.
You learn how to make your work by making your work … art you care about — and lots of it!Art and Fear, page 6.
Please don’t be dissuaded from this book by the word “Art”. It is relevant to anyone who is trying to be creative, no matter if you’re a painter, a jeweler, a musician or a writer. The observations in this book are for everyone who wants to be creative. So I beg you, plead with you, to go to your local book store and grab a copy of this work of sheer genius. Trust me.